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What is Osteosarcoma?

By on July 3, 2012 in Diseases with 0 Comments

 

What is osteosarcoma?

Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer. Most often, it begins in a leg bone (either the femur or tibia) near the knee, or in the bone of the upper arm (humerus) near the shoulder. Osteosarcoma can metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body, often to the lungs or other bones.

What are some signs of osteosarcoma?

Your child or teenager may have an aching pain in the bone or joint around the site of osteosarcoma. The pain may awaken during sleep. Often, there is a firm swelling or lump in the area of ​​pain. This swelling is caused by a tumor growing inside the bone.

If the cancer is found in the bone of a leg, your child or teen may limp. Also, the muscles of the arm or leg with osteosarcoma may look smaller than the muscles of the opposite arm or leg. Sometimes, the bone may break in the area of ​​the tumor, since tumor weakens the bone.

Who can have osteosarcoma?

Osteosarcoma is a common type of cancer. Per year in the United States alone there are around 400 cases. Osteosarcoma, however, is the most common bone cancer in children and adolescents. It most often begins between 10 and 20 years, and is more common in males. Osteosarcoma has no known cause.

How is osteosarcoma treated?

Osteosarcoma is treated with chemotherapy and surgery. In chemotherapy, your child or adolescent children receive drugs that destroy the main tumor and any tumor cells that have moved to other parts of the body. The chemotherapy treatment usually recommended for about 6 months for the cancer that has spread. This treatment usually begins before surgery to destroy or reduce the tumor size. This makes the surgery easier. If it is unlikely that chemotherapy alter the course of cancer, surgery or amputation might be the first part of the treatment plan.

Almost all people who have this type of cancer can have surgery to preserve the limb. This surgery removes the tumor along with the bone area where it grew. Sometimes, one removes the entire joint, such as knee joint. Then the missing bone is replaced with an artificial metal bone called stents.

After surgery, your child or adolescent child will have more chemotherapy.

 

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